I like the idea of a Clif bar with a little bite in it - something that can give you that real boost of energy while you are running around on your daily grind. Clif bars have been around for about as long as there have been energy bars - although very few energy bars have an y caffeine in them. There are a few, like Pit Pull energy bars, but it is a relatively small sample of the energy bar market, which I don't get. It seems to me that this is a match made in heaven, something to give you a bit of a perk along with fruits an fibers and all that other junk.
Not that Clif bars are full of junk, and are quite the opposite - especially when compared to the other energy and protein bars out there. Compared to Powerbar - which uses High Fructose Corn Syrup and preservatives, and another which is even made my a candy bar company. I don't let me kids eat a whole lot of junk food, but I do get them Clif Bars for snacks a lot. When I got this awesome sample from Brandon via Caffeine, the energy blog, I was most excited to give it a try.
This was packaged like just every other energy bar they have, wrapped in a plain looking brown wrapper - having that very earthy artisan-esque feel. I particularly like the Clif bar packaging - it feel like the kind of thing a serious mountain climber would carry around with them.
In terms of functionality, it did what it was supposed to do. My only issue was the lack of callout about the caffeine - its their only bar with actual energy in their energy bar; they should celebrate the fact! Instead, there was not even a listing of how much caffeine they had in the package, although they let you know online. Still, it would be nice if they had more than a little "contains caffeine" lettering on the bottom of their whole package.
This is definitely the tastiest of all the Clif bars I have tasted - and I have had quite a few. I did go through my energy bar period, thinking it was cool to get most of my nutrition in bar form until I realized that also leaves you hungry and broke.
Clif bars are usually like all other energy bars, a mix of rabbit food, Horse feed and enough sugar or candy coating to pretty much negate any nutrition you thought you were going to have. Either that, or it tasted like you munched your way through a particularly unpleasant multigrain seed bread at a natural foods store. This Peanut Toffee Crunch bar was happily neither of the two - tasting like there is some nutrition to be had without overkilling it on the sugar coating. Edibility in food bars is a whole lot like talking about which cough syrup tastes the best. It is never anything you would choose to eat because of the taste, but this tastes better than all the other ones they have.
For being the only Clif with caffeine, you think they would enjoy it a bit more. Unfortunately, there is no buzz to be found - no matter how you chomp it. Clif's crunch has a whopping 50mg of caffeine in there, and because you eat it, the effects are even milder.
Basically, there is no reason for caffeine in this bar - it is like it is not even there. I mean, if you are the kind of person who can wolf down these by the handful then maybe I can see the reason, but just adding 50mg of caffeine - about as much as a cup of coffee or a Mountain Dew is not even enough to count.
While there is a nice healthy dose of good stuff in here to keep you moving long term (its full of complex carbs and such), I would hope for being one of the only caffeinated energy bars out there this would pac more of a punch. I might go back to this for the flavor if I HAVE to eat one of these bars, but for a good energy boost I would pick up something else.